Ask Cheri: How Do I Keep Kief Powdery After Decarboxylating? 

By  Cheri Sicard

 March 23, 2019

Dear Cheri,

What is the best way to keep the kief powdery after I decarboxylate it?  Thank you

Thanks for writing Leslie. Good question and like many things associated with cannabis cooking, it depends. That's because there are so many different textures when it comes to kief, depending on the plant material it is made from.  Some remain a fine powder, but others can get sticky, especially if it's good kief.  Some kief can even be gummy after decarboxylation (the process of heating the kief into order to transform the plant's THC-A into psychoactive THC).

Dry Ice Kief before decarboxylation.

Dry Ice Kief before decarboxylation

Dry Ice Kief after decarboxylation

Kief/Hash broken up and decarboxylated

While the degree to which decarbing, an important step to take if you want potent edibles, changes texture varies from strain to strain, it always has some impact.  You can see the difference in the raw kief in the photo at the top of this page, and the decarbed kief in the photo to the right here.  The decarbed kief is dryer and more dense.

(it is really powdery, sometimes you can crush it into a powder with your fingers. I was able to do that with the kief in the photo at right, as you can see it barely cumped together after decarbing.  Otherwise I usually use a mortar and pestle to gently break up the decarbed kief before adding to a recipe.  Use a gentle hand as, if your kief is gummy, a hard mashing could make the problem worse and cement it together.  But for many varieties a gentle crushing in a mortar and pestle will work.   Alternately the back of a spoon on a small plate can get you a similar result.

For dry varieties a fine grater or microplaner can also do the trick, but most kief is already too crumbly for this, but I have seen some varieties where this works.  Again, providing it is not too gummy, cause if it is too gummy it will just make a mess of the grater.

If your kief is ultra gummy, I try to save this type for use in recipes and foods that call for heating.  Heated in liquids, most, if not all of the kief will dissolve and disappear into the foods.  Even the sticky, gummy variety.

No matter what the variety, I do the crushing, mashing, etc. right before adding to the recipe.  That's cause if you do it sooner, depending on the temperature and how the kief is stored, it can clump back together again.

Hope this helps.


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  • What is the best method for decarboxylation? I use my oven only and more interested in getting the most out of the CBD. I’ve been preparing it in a 250 oven for 30-35 min. Better to do lower oven temp for a longer period of time?

  • I just decarbed 3 different Kief strains in the oven. One if the three turned into a sticky liquid. The other two remained a powder bit became a bit clumped together. Why did one Kief strain turn into liquid?


  • This happens to me always. I use bubble hash and it’s pretty pure so it turns to oil. More potent and pure the more likely to turn to oil and it’s also the amount of terpines that will cause it to grease. Personally I Just decarb in a small Pyrex container and then place the container in a pot of near boiling water (not boiling) and simmer to infuse into coconut oil or butter. There are many other options that’s just what I do.

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